Amazon enables its customers to buy at the touch of the Amazon Dash Button since 2016. Anyone installing the Amazon Shopping App can use an adhesive manufacturer button to buy detergent or cat food online at the touch of a button. This is now prohibited in Germany. The OLG Munich sees a violation of the laws for the Internet trade.
Plaintiff is the German regional consumer center of North Rhine-Westphalia. It had asserted that the operation of the Dash Button in its current form violates consumer protection laws and in its current form is incompatible with the provisions of § 312j BGB. Orders via the Dash Button are contracts in electronic business transactions within the meaning of § 312i German Civil Code (BGB).
On the one hand, the Amazon Dash Button is a button in the sense of § 312j BGB, the plaintiff specified. However, it was not provided with the words “order subject to payment” or a comparable wording. In any case, the defendant had not designed the order situation for the dash button in such a way that the consumer expressly confirmed with his order that he committed himself to a payment. In any case, this was a violation of § 312j BBG. On the other hand, contrary to § 312j BGB, the defendant does not provide the consumer with the information such as concrete content and price in a clear and understandable manner immediately before placing the order via Dash Button.
Order by Amazon Dash Button – it’s electronic commerce?
Amazon contradicted this argumentation. According to Amazon, the Directive does not apply to contracts “for the supply of foodstuffs, beverages or other household goods for daily consumption which are supplied by a trader at the place of residence, abode or workplace of a consumer in the course of frequent and regular journeys”. Such contracts are, however, orders via the dash button. The German legislator had included the corresponding provision in § 312 BGB.
In addition, the ordering process using the dash button is not a contract in electronic commerce. The Amazon Dash Button isolated is not a telemedium in the sense of § 1 TMG. Because it can only establish a connection to the customer’s WLAN and therefore cannot independently send information via the Internet.
OLG Munich strengthens the center for consumer rights
Both the Regional Court Munich (12 O 730/17) and now the Higher Regional Court Munich (29 U 1091/18) joined the plaintiffs in their view. The concrete order of goods via the Amazon Dash Button is also a contract in electronic business transactions within the meaning of § 312i BGB, so that § 312j BGB must be observed for orders from consumers. The Dash Button alone is the means to conclude the contract and the telemedium in the sense of § 312i BGB.
In addition, there is no clear indication that every press of a button triggers an order requiring payment. This is because the order also becomes binding if the user does not have the smartphone within reach or it is switched off. The user only has to press the Dash button for the specific order process. Interaction, especially with the Amazon Shopping App, is not necessary.
An order via the Dash Button is not possible if it is not connected to the WLAN or if the router does not have an Internet connection. Amazon fails to recognize, however, that with an existing WLAN and Internet connection only the activation of the Dash Button is necessary for the defendant to receive the user’s offer to conclude a purchase contract via the Internet. In addition, the judges at the Higher Regional Court of Munich criticized the transparency of Amazon’s General Terms and Conditions for allowing scope to change details. It was irrelevant which information was available in the Amazon Shopping App at the time of the order process, since the app was no longer needed for the specific order process.
This judgment includes an injunction relief against Amazon. An appeal is not permitted. The Amazon Dash Button is therefore prohibited in Germany for the time being. Amazon has already announced its intention to challenge the ruling.
Do you need help concerning distance selling or widthdrawal?
Then please do not hesitate to contact us. Our lawyers consider each case individually and confidentially.
Request your call-back without any obligations!